Freshman Ryan Connor of Concord
- What was your favorite experience on this trip?
“This entire trip has been a meaningful experience. From getting lost in Paris, to meeting a Holocaust survivor, from connecting with new faces in Wangen, to celebrating with friends. This entire experience has made me realize how blessed I am to be in one of the best choirs in the nation and touring Europe.”
- How has your perspective changed on this trip?
“I’ve seen places and people that I never though I’d be interested in. I was never interested in Germany and I didn’t care for France all that much. I didn’t realize the awe and the wonder that such places can present. There is much beauty here, because there is much beauty everywhere. The beauty came to life with every cobblestone, every building, every shop, every person. America has a lot of things that seem better than in other places, but it is hard to match the beauty, the class, and the historical wonders that Europe has to offer.”
- What have you learned through your experiences?
“It is hard to realize how real and how horrid the Holocaust was until you speak to a survivor. In a small conversation, we saw the fear, the resolve and the pride of a woman who expressed many thanks to a group of college students whom she had never met before because our country saved her life. Going to the concentration camp in Dachau was a heart-wrenching, but necessary experience. I was here that I fully understood what I was placed in the position that I am in. Amongst the many exhibits and posters and stand of facts was a small paragraph about a man in the concentration camp. He wrote about all of the people who had died during his time in the camp. He wrote about the people with the intention that “the dead must live!” In these four words, in his actions, I saw a glimpse of how great the human race could be. In a place of hatred or evil, in a place when he could have been selfish and focused his energy on survival, he chose to keep those that passed alive and remembered. He wrote, he spoke for those that no longer could. We sing for those that can’t.”